Gluckstadt real estate market still booming

By MEGAN PHILLIPS,

Gluckstadt is still a seller’s market, just like last year. Except this summer, interest rates are higher, price per square foot has increased, more homes than ever are being built, and houses are still flying off the market.

The school district seems to be the biggest attraction for young and upcoming families. Many homebuyers moving to the Gluckstadt area want to be in the Germantown middle and high schools, according to Graham Wells, Realtor at J.D. Johnson Realty and Investment,

Popular among homebuyers, Wells says, are amenities such as locations in large suburbs, a fenced-in backyard and schools. 

“A lot of people move from Madison to Gluckstadt because of resale. And even if the kids go to a private school, there’s always the option of public school.”

The price per square foot has increased by three dollars, but that’s not discouraging buyers.

“In 2016, the average was just under $110 per square foot. This year, the average per square foot is $113.”

According to Wells, 616 homes were sold near the Germantown middle and high school campus in 2016. So far this year, 345 homes have been sold in the same area.

Like last year, the most popular homes are three bedroom-two bathroom homes that range from 1,500 to 1,600 square feet for $200,000 or less.

When Wells researched the number of homes listed on the market for that price late last week, he only saw eight homes. However, Wells said once buyers look at higher-dollar homes, options become  more flexible.

“The ones under $200,000 are slim pickings. Right now, if you wanted to buy a house under $200,000 in the Germantown school district, there are only eight homes on the market. For $250,000 to $300,000, there are 51. For $300,000 to $500,000, there are 94… People are starting to realize they don’t want to be married to their house, so they’re buying less expensive homes.”

In the Gluckstadt market, 25 homes are on the market for $500,000 and up (at press time).

 

According to Wells, there is currently new construction occurring in 16 different Gluckstadt neighborhoods.

The issues arising from the popularity of the Gluckstadt area come in the form of overpopulation in a short period of time. “There was a petition sometime this year against building another subdivision on 510 acres near Ashbrooke,” said Wells in a 2016 Sun article.

The December 2015 petition was filed by the group Gluckstadt Residents against Rezone and countered a zoning appeal for an area on the borders of Dewees and Stribling roads.

The original zoning appeal changed the area from agricultural (A-1) to residential (R-2 ).

The homes proposed to go in the area would be at least $375,000, according to planning and zoning administrator Scott Weeks, adding more competition for sellers who have homes within the same price range.

The petition group was mainly concerned with the already-populous area adding more subdivisions. More homes mean more drivers on crumbling roads and more students going to a school that’s just completed the construction of a separate middle school facility to combat overcrowding.

The petition specifically cited “deplorable and dangerous” roads such as Stribling, Dewees and Gluckstadt. “Mannsdale Elementary is already full and with the neighborhoods currently under construction in this district, the school (including the new building) will be at full capacity in 12-18 months,” it stated.

“Ashbrooke’s almost filled out, but Lake Caroline has room to expand,” said Wells. “The roads aren’t big enough to handle traffic. It gets backed up. People want it to be a four-lane eventually, but the county would have to expand the rights of way, there are utilities in the way. Dewees was just a dirt road until five or 10 years ago.”

The Madison County Board of Supervisors approved the subdivision this year, allowing developers to move forward with the project. 

“People are livid that the new subdivisions are coming and there are no definite plans to alleviate traffic,” Wells said.

 

Interest rates have gone up since last year as well, but that’s still not deterring buyers. 

“The interest rates always vary, but for people with great credit and large down payment, you can’t get interest rates under 4 percent anymore,” he said. “It’s closer to 4.5 percent than 4.”

On average, a home on Gluckstadt will stay on the market for 87 days.

Most desirable homes are situated on three to five-acre lots.

“One of the most desirable things people want now, everyone wants to be in the (Germantown school) district but get out of the subdivision. It’s almost impossible.”

Some people are even buying Gluckstadt homes for the rent prices.

“Gluckstadt has got an extremely high number of rental properties,” Wells said. “A 1,500 square-foot home is renting out for $1,700 to $1,800. It’s a lucrative business.”

Wells also said he’s seen approximately 150 homes be built this year, and sees no sign of construction slowing down.

Existing subdivisions are also going back and building new sections.

“A lot of existing neighborhoods have opened up new phases. Providence, which has been there since the early 2,000’s, they’ve sold a lot of new homes in there just this year.”  

What’s more, everyone is moving out to the Livingston area.

“Everything’s gravitating toward the Livingston area out there. A lot of Madison County development trends seem to be heading northwest.”